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Certified Health Coach, Award Winning Author, Motivational Muse

Where There Is Help There Is Hope

This week, I breathed two sighs. One of Hope and one of Sadness. And I think many other women did as well. Hope is because a new study came out stating that many women with early stage breast cancer may no longer need to undergo chemotherapy treatment. As with all studies, there are particulars, such as the cancer cannot have spread to the lymph nodes and the patients had to be sensitive to estrogen and negative for the protein HER2.

This is a major advancement for the approximately 260,000 women diagnosed with  breast cancer each year.  In The New York Times article, “The findings apply to about 60,000 women a year in the U.S.A., according to Dr. Joseph Sparano of Montefiore Medical Center in New York, the leader of the study.”

As with all medical conditions, discuss your individual diagnosis with your oncologist and consider a second opinion. Chemotherapy can have long term side effects such as nerve and heart damage, or risk of a secondary cancer. Yet, it is still better than dying from cancer. Hopefully, this advancement will help alleviate one major step in a painful journey for women battling the disease and still help prevent more women from succumbing to it.

Hopefully now more women will not have to undergo chemotherapy. Photo: ID 9965660 © Cleo | Dreamstime.com

The other deep breath as a sigh of Sadness over the tragic suicide of designer, Kate Spade. Here is a woman who seemingly had it all: a long marriage, beautiful daughter, creative talent, business smarts, financial success, well-appointed homes and industry recognition. And she apparently had depression, enough to drive her to end her life.

I think Kate’s story hit many women harder than other deaths because her life seemed so ideal- you can have and achieve it all. And she was just 55. Some people say the issue is ageism. Others commented she battled bipolar disorder. I think it is too soon to know what happened or conjecture.

But, what I do feel is depression is prevalent in society now more than ever, and much of it is due to pressure to achieve, prove yourself, keep up and live up to expectations from others and images we see on social media and film. I have seen firsthand how suicide impacts a family and, like many women, have experienced depressive disorder during times of my life- for all the reasons I stated above. It can be isolating. Some people learn to manage it; others cannot. I am also concerned other women may follow Kate’s example. Her own suicide is scarily like two other fashion designers Alexander McQueen and L’Wren Scott.

I have no answers and loads of questions. And one final comment: If a friend wants to talk, let her (or him). If you think a friend may need help, reach out and offer to help her find it. This is not the time to turn away or say, “just get over it.” Where there is Help, there is Hope.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Other resources: SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources 

Photo: ID 23527011 © Kasia Kubacha | Dreamstime.com

 

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